Instant “ramen” noodles are a massively popular
staple – especially in the collegiate population.
While genuine ramen noodles made from flour
and without additives are not cause for serious
concern, the cheap instant noodles are a total
People who live on campus and
find it hard to budget their money often end up
surviving on instant noodles several days a week.
In Asia, the popularity and convenience of
instant noodles is even bigger; it’s a quick,
cheap, and easy to way to ease your hunger –
but how do instant noodles affect your health?
#1 Instant Noodles Are Extremely High In
Instant noodles are extremely high in sodium –
one packet containing 1875mg – more than the
entire RDA of 1500mg. Sodium is one of the
leading causes of both hypertension (high blood
pressure) and kidney dysfunction. How? Sodium
causes a build-up of fluid in the body, raising
blood pressure which destroys the delicate
vessels that supply the kidneys with blood. This
is the reason why people with kidney problems
are strongly advised to avoid preserved food
items and too much salt in their diet.
#2 Instant Noodles Are Loaded With MSG
MSG is a specific kind of sodium found in most
preserved food items like instant noodles and
canned food. MSG intake has been linked to an
increased risk for cancer and hypersensitivity
reactions like migraines, flushing, and chest pain.
While the FDA has officially labeled MSG as
generally safe, it remains a highly controversial
ingredient. Because of these reports of hypersensitivity and a potential risk for cancer,
they require all food items to list MSG as an
ingredient if it was used in any way to make the
#3 Preservatives Affect Nutrition Absorption In
The Body because instant noodles have extremely high levels of preservatives, they can also affect the
way our bodies absorb nutrients. The stomach
and intestines are where nutrition absorption
takes place and are home to good bacteria that
aids in digestion. Preservatives harm these good
bacteria, lowering their numbers (and increasing
the number of bad bacteria!) and affecting our
bodies’ ability to absorb nutrients from food.
This can cause problems like nutrient deficiency
and long-term absorption problems.
#4 Instant Noodles Contain Antifreeze
Yes, they really do. While instant noodles have
your typical preservatives like MSG, they also
have lesser known ingredients that will have you
raising your eyebrow. Propylene glycol – a
colorless liquid – is a popular antifreeze because
of its ability to absorb water. It also happens to
be used to preserve the texture of instant
noodles as well, prolonging their shelf life. A
2004 study also linked propylene glycol in take
with an increased risk for liver cancer.
#5 Instant Noodles Have Been Linked With
Plasticizers are additives that increase the flexibility of non-food items. However, back in 2011 and 2012, Chinese instant noodles (including certain brains that are exported to th US) were found to be contaminated with toxic levels of plasticizers. When this substance is ingested, it damages the digestive tract and
increases a person’s risk for gastrointestinal and
#6 Instant Noodles Often Contain A Cocktail Of
Instant noodles and their packet sauces
commonly contain canola oil, corn syrup and
Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) – a highly
controversial preservative that is also added to
perfumes, lacquers, and biodiesel!